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What is the main point of view in Romeo and Juliet's adventure?

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sheilall | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 28, 2007 at 3:59 AM via web

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What is the main point of view in Romeo and Juliet's adventure?

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andrewnightingale | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:23 AM (Answer #4)

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In literature, "point of view" refers to the narrator's perspective of events. In a play, the playwright presents the events to an audience who has to make its own judgment, obviously based on its perspective of what unfolded on the stage. Audience members may then have different individual perspectives and thus different interpretations.

One could say that in Romeo and Juliet, the main point of view is expressed in the prologue, by an actor or the playwright who states:

The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;

In this instance, there clearly is a narrator and he/she distinctly states a point of view about the events about to unfold on stage. The metaphoric language is rich in references to the tragedy about to be presented and the good that came from it.

In a novel, this narrator would have been a third-person omniscient storyteller who would have been present throughout, informing the reader about the thoughts, feelings and actions of all the characters.

In this play, however, the narrator serves a minor role and only introduces the audience to the tale about to unfold and then disappears, choosing to let the story tell itself, by presenting the characters to the audience where they also, throughout, present their own perspectives in first-person narratives.

In a play, events and actions are presented to an audience based mostly on the writer's perspective. One can conclude, then, based on the above, that in Romeo and Juliet the main point of view is that of the playwright in the guise of a narrator who features only in the prologue. 

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 28, 2007 at 9:02 AM (Answer #1)

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An interesting question. Since it is a play, the main point of view is an objective one: we see all events from the outside, as if we were observing them. If you translated this to the way points of view are described for fiction, that would be third person limited, since we can't see inside the characters' minds.

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seaofknowledge | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted April 2, 2015 at 2:23 PM (Answer #3)

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This can be a confusing question for students studying Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet actually uses both first person and third person points of view. Some people object to these terms when talking about a play, because in plays we have only dialogue rather than exposition such as in a novel. But there are also points of view in a play; these are basically the eyes through which the story is told.

Both the beginning and the end of Romeo and Juliet is told in the first person. The Chorus or Prologue introduces the story in the beginning in first person to the audience and the Prince concludes it at the end in first person. The entire middle part of the story however is told from a third person point of view. When you read the play, imagine how it would have been performed on stage and you will understand this. 

We get to experience different characters' points of view in third person in the middle parts of the story. Sometimes we see it through the eyes of Romeo, sometimes Juliet, sometimes Juliet's nurse, etc. 

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shelet | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 29, 2007 at 9:48 AM (Answer #2)

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The main point of view in Remeo & Juliet is wiritten in third person.

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